KPMG denies funding US presidential candidates

Amid reports that Dutch companies are among the largest foreign financial backers of candidates seeking the US presidency, KPMG Netherlands denied on Tuesday it is supporting the re-election of US President George Bush.

Newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the largest foreign backer of the US election campaign was accountancy firm KPMG, which donated almost EUR 500,000 to the coffers of the US president's Republican party. Public American registers recording the flow of campaign funds indicate that no other foreign company has topped KPMG's donation.

KPMG International describes itself as a Swiss cooperative, but has its main office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It was formed in 1987 by the merger of Peat Marwick International (PMI) and Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG). The company has Dutch, German, British and US origins.

Newspaper De Telegraaf said Dutch companies are donating money to the Democrat and Republican campaign funds via their US subsidiaries. Foreign companies cannot directly donate money to the rival parties. The newspaper did not name any other Dutch firms involved in the alleged funding.

But KPMG said on its website that KPMG Netherlands was not involved in campaign funding. The company said KPMG was represented across the globe by various nation-based offices that operate completely independently.

KPMG also said the nation-based companies have the authority to make independent decisions and operate autonomously in regards sponsoring.

It said KPMG donated funds in the US to the presidential election campaign the same as a large number of other companies do. But that KPMG Netherlands does not donate money to political parties, either domestically or abroad.

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